By Luis de Estores
Jimmy was pronounced “Dead on Arrival” when he arrived at the hospital. Adelle had heard this earlier. True, that was painful, but what she was hearing now was even worse. She could feel her heart pumping, and her pulse throbbing on the sides of her head. Her sight turned dark, as her knees weakened. “Adelle?” Yvette asked, as she tried to get hold of Adelle. Liesel tried to help catch Yvette as she fainted.
Just a couple of days before, Adelle was on her merry way to get some fertilizer for her garden. It was spring in Montreal, a glorious season for the spring bulbs that flower throughout the city, especially tulips. Adelle’s favourites are the yellow hyacinths that she grows in her garden. She loves them for the intoxicating sweet scent. For her, it’s spring time when their sweet perfume fills the air, and it is wonderful. Peonies are a favourite too, but the one she planted last year died. For now, she just wants to buy fertilizer, may be even some marigold seeds, so she can plant them early this year.
On her way to the garden centre, Adelle decided to pass by St Catherine St. It was the weekend, and it is always nice to have a visit at Maggie’s, her favourite coffee shop. For lunch, she was thinking of going to Chinatown, which is a bit further. There’s this wonderful buffet restaurant that she likes going to. And so, off she strolled to St Catherine. All in all, it was a nice peaceful Saturday morning.
Something did cross her eyes. It was Jimmy, her boyfriend. Anger came to her when she noticed that Jimmy wasn’t alone. He was with a woman, and they seemed awfully close, and they were laughing – maybe at something that Jimmy said. Angry and curious, Adelle followed them, trying not to be noticed. “What on earth is this?” she asked herself, as Jimmy and the woman entered a jewelry store called Charlotte’s. Peeking in the window, Adelle could see them looking at rings. It was then that she noticed what the other woman looked like.
“Jimmy is replacing me with HER?” Adelle said to herself. “She’s ugly!” The woman’s look may not have been as unpleasant as Adelle had thought. For sure, Adelle was angry, and well, jealous, and her judgements were clouded. But what Adelle noticed was the woman’s distinct buck teeth. “Oh, what does Jimmy see in HER?” Adelle continued watching them, as the woman picked up a ring and tried it on her finger, and looked infatuated with it. Jimmy was talking to the sales staff, took out his wallet, and reached for his credit card.
“I have had enough of this nonsense,” Adelle thought, “I can’t take this anymore”. She walked home, and never even bothered to take a bus. She just walked, but tried to hold off the tears in her eyes. “The bastard’s cheating on me!”
Two days passed. Jimmy called Adelle but she never answered her phone. He left messages, and she just deleted them. For her, Jimmy was the one that she thought she was going to marry. He was the one she would like to build a family with. He was the one she loved. It’s pretty much a good thing she discovered what kind of man he is – a lying cheat! For the first time in her life, she felt what it felt like to be heart-broken.
After the anger, there was a sense of sadness. At least the garden was still there. It needed tending. But then, she heard the door bell. She went in and looked to see who it was. It was Jimmy. “Oh no, here he is.” Adelle opened the door.
“Hey Adelle,” Jim said, “I’ve been trying to reach you all weekend. Where’ve you been, babe?”
“Babe? Don’t freakin’ “babe” me.”
“What’s wrong, hon? Did I do something wrong?”
“I freakin’ saw you with some woman! You even bought her a ring!”
Jimmy looked surprised. “Dell, Dell, Dell…”
Dell is what Jim calls Adelle as a term of endearment. Adelle liked it, but not today; Not after what she saw. “Don’t Dell, Dell, Dell me, cheater!”
But before he could answer, she pushed him a bit too hard. And that was that. It only took a few seconds for Jimmy to lose balance, fall on the ground and hit his head on a rock by the yellow hyacinths. Soon blood flowed, touching the base of the beloved plants.
“No… no… no…” she said, panicky. “Help! Please help!”
The neighbour, André, limped his way over and saw the bloodied body of Jimmy lying on the pavement. “I’m calling 9-1-1.”
The paramedics came, performed emergency procedures, to no avail. They still took Jimmy to the hospital, with André driving Adelle in his car. She called Jimmy’s sister, Yvette. Tragically, he was pronounced “Dead on Arrival”.
An hour later, Yvette walked in the hospital lobby talking on her cell phone, with Adelle crying. “What happened?” Yvette asked.
“I don’t know. I saw him walking by my door, when I saw him fall. He slipped on something… probably, or lost balance… I don’t know.” They both sat down, and didn’t talk to each other. Just then, a familiar looking woman walked in. “Adelle,” Yvette said, “This is Liesel.”
Liesel hugged Adelle. “I’m so sorry… really sorry. Jimmy was my favourite cousin. We were pretty close.” As Liesel spoke, Adelle noticed HER familiar buck teeth. “By the way, Adelle, Jimmy meant to give you this ring for your birthday. He was planning to propose to you. I helped him buy it the other day.”
Luis is a UitC student who is also a filmmaker. Recently, he and fellow filmmaker, Derreck Roemer, won Art with Impact’s short film competition for their their film, “Off Suit”. Using stop-motion animation and based on a true story, “Off Suit” gives viewers a powerful look at the impact of language and social stigma. Congratulations, Luis!
Watch it here:
(Winner AWI Short Film Competition, November, 2018)
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